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Mainz 2-1 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

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Can Bayern Munich end the title race today?

VfL Wolfsburg v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Initial reactions and observations

  • Mainz deserved to win. They defended with their lives and utilized the chances they got up front to devastating effect. Yes, there was a lot of poor refereeing in Bayern’s way, but hats off to Mainz for that top display.
  • Bayern were super blunt in the offensive side of things today. Coman and Sané were very poor, with Müller the only person looking to push forward and show drive. Choupo-Moting and Musiala were more active, but it was too late by then.
  • Nothing much to say about the defense that hasn’t already been said. Also, given that Boateng and Alaba are both leaving at the end of the season, it is possible that their minds are already elsewhere. Flick also didn’t seem to have his usual ‘half-time effect’.
  • Joshua Kimmich wasn’t good at all. His passing was all over the place and he wasted too many chances with long range shots that missed the target. Goretzka had a game to forget, going into reckless challenges so often that he was subbed out at half time.
  • This was a rare occasion where not one player stood out or did particularly well. One upside from today’s game could be Nianzou’s performance, which was quite solid. He showed glimpses of his dribbling and passing ability in midfield, and it is possible that he can be molded into the DM Bayern is looking for.

90+4’ — FT.

90+3’ — GOAL! Lewandowski scores to ensure he keeps his goal tally on the rise.

80’ — Bayern are looking very stagnant. Mainz have put up a very inspired performance. Their defense has been impenetrable so far.

65’ — The refereeing has been nothing short of horrific today, with so many fouls uncalled for. Bayern players are getting stretched to the limits physically.

53’ — Bayern pushing for a goal now. Choupo-Moting and Musiala look very active.

46’ — And the second half kicks off! Musiala, Choupo Moting and Nianzou come in for Goretzka, Coman and Sane.

Halftime observations and analysis

  • Bayern, simply put, were toothless up front. Didn’t generate any meaningful chances and lacked the means to break down the Mainz defense.
  • Mainz, to their credit, defended admirably well, and also put up a show whenever required to get fouls called their way. Jonathan Burkardt was particularly impressive in attack.
  • The Bayern midfield had a poor half. Goretzka was reckless with his challenges, while Kimmich’s long balls were always a few inches off their mark. This must improve if Bayern are to leave with any result other than a loss.
  • Bayern’s defending... shambolic. Nothing more to say here. Lucas Hernandez is probably watching the game and weeping right now.
  • Lewandowski fluffed Bayern’s only decent chance. Yes, he has only just returned from an injury, but he should do better in the second half if Bayern are to escape an embarrassing defeat.

45’ — HT.

37’ — Mainz grab a second! Robin Quaison heads in a superb ball off a free kick, and Bayern are looking helpless and out of ideas. The entire defense was caught out by a long ball yet again. Mainz are deservedly in the lead.

26’ — Bayern without answers up front. They haven’t been able to generate any meaningful chances so far outside a decent opportunity fluffed by Lewandowski.

19’ — Mainz’s press has been incredible thus far. Bayern’s chances have been few and far in between, with Mainz looking super dangerous on the counter and getting the better chances. Neuer has been called into action very often, and Bayern really need to step up their game.

9’ — Bayern are dominating possession, but are getting caught off guard quite often. The defenders are not looking sharp today, and have been caught ball watching often.

3’ — Mainz score! Bayern are caught off guard by a ball from the top. Alaba is unable to clear the ball properly with a sub-par header, and Burkardt sends a rocket towards Neuer, who is unable to keep the ball out. 1-0 Mainz!

1’ — And the game is underway at the Opel Arena!

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups!

This part of the season is somewhat bittersweet for fans of Bayern Munich, since it means that the journey is coming to an end. If the players manage to take all three points against Mainz, then the club will have won their ninth Bundesliga title in a row. While winning league titles never gets old, it’s unfortunate that the last few games of the season won’t matter much.

Still, there are a few more things to look forward to. Robert Lewandowski is back, so we fans can sit one the edge of our seats as we wonder if he can actually break Gerd Muller’s record. Meanwhile, Thomas Muller is also looking to break the record for most assists in a single Bundesliga season, which he set himself just last year.

Outside of the individual records those two are chasing, this will likely be one of the last few games David Alaba and Jerome Boateng play for Bayern Munich. The pair will leave the club this summer, marking the end of an era for Bayern’s defense. While some fans may not be happy about the manner in which the duo are leaving, we can’t deny their invaluable years of service, and we should try and enjoy their performances while they’re still here.

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Opel Arena, Mainz, Germany

Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST

TV/streaming: ESPN+, Find Your Country

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